Wednesday, September 28, 2011

North Carolina

I love to travel.  I love visiting new cities and learning how they work.  I love shopping in new cities and visiting restaurants.  I love maps and travel technology.  I love apps that help me find a place to eat.  I love using technology to find my favorite store in a new city.  And this is a love that Shawn and I share, we both love to travel.  We love to visit new countries and learn about new cultures.  But something changed in my love of travel when I began to love Shawn.  I know that they say that love can grow, but in some ways loving Shawn made me love travel less.  The problem is that now when I do travel I want to travel WITH Shawn.  I want to share new cities and new experiences with him.

I was in North Carolina for work last week.  Try as I might to convince Shawn to take a week off of work  and come to North Carolina with me, the romance of sitting in a hotel for a week by himself while I worked didn't convince him to join me.  Nor did the awesome hotel with an indoor waterpark.  And the week I spent in North Carolina was one of the longest weeks of my life.  It had nothing to do with the meeting I attended, or the person I traveled with, or the appointments I had.  It had everything to do with being away from Shawn.  I wanted to be able to share everything with him.  I wanted to sit at the table at night with him and tell him about my day.  I wanted to hold his hand while I fell asleep.  I wanted him with me to laugh at the strange pictures on the walls of the hotel.  I wanted to explore with him.  

But while I hate traveling without him, I love that we live when we do and have the technology available to us.  I can take pictures and immediately send them to him.  I can text him or email him about things that make me laugh.  I can call him at night easily.  And the best invention we found this week was face time from Apple.  When I travel for work I can take an iPad with me and I LOVE using facetime to chat with Shawn at home with our MacBook.  I loved being able to show him my hotel room. I loved seeing his face.  And that's what made this week bearable.  

Highlights of the week:

1) Staying at the Great Wolf Lodge in Concord, North Carolina.  It felt like a strange place for a meeting since they really cater to families, but the staff was amazing and the meeting went really well.  The water park looked like a lot of fun, and I would definitely stay there again.  And the little kid inside of me really wanted to go buy a magic wand and participate in their Magic Quest.  

2) My travel companion would not agree with me, but I loved our second hotel too, the Blake Hotel in Charlotte, NC.  I thought the lobby was swanky and loved my room and the view of the city.  I didn't like that it didn't have a gym but you had to go across the street to work out (which I didn't do).  The staff was also really amazing and friendly.  Is that a North Carolina thing?

3) The three hour drive each way from Charlotte to Raleigh.  OK, driving for 8 hours in a car with a colleague in one day isn't exactly what I would call fun, but I loved seeing the drive from Charlotte to Raleigh.  We didn't take the main interstate, but our Garmin sent us a less direct way that took the same amount of town.  We drove through the town Pittsboro, and I fell in love with it.  I want to go back and stop in this town!

Next time I'm in North Carolina I'm taking Shawn with me.  And I'm glad the next trip I have planned is a trip with Shawn to DISNEYLAND!

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